(Closed) Reception only invites ??

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: Tacky ??
    Yes : (17 votes)
    68 %
    No : (8 votes)
    32 %
  • Post # 3
    Member
    1403 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2010

    Not tacky.  I don’t know about other parts of the world, but here in Wisconsin it’s fairly common to have a smaller crowd invited to dinner and then invite everyone else after the food has been taken away.  Just make sure that people aren’t still sitting and eating when the other guests are supposed to arrive; that would be slightly awkward.

    Post # 4
    Member
    687 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2011

    I’m considering doing the same sort of thing for some of our older friends that we don’t keep in touch with very closely yet, we know they still live in our hometown and will feel a little left out if they’re not included.  I haven’t figured out the details how we’ll do this on their invitations either….

    Post # 5
    Member
    1426 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: December 1969

    Sorry, but it is rude to have first class and second class guests.  Either invite them to the whole reception or nothing.*  Think about it, how would you feel if you showed up at a wedding and saw that everyone else was sitting at banquet tables, had just had a meal, and now you were supposed to stand around and maybe have a slice of cake.  It isn’t very hospitable, and some people may think you only invited them for the gift (even if that wasn’t want you intended).

    Since you mentioned that you aren’t really that close to them, I would just not invite them.  They probably won’t even blink at not getting an invite.  However, the last thing you want to do is do something that could start some sort of family feud- that stuff gets ugly fast!  If you really do want to invite them, you could always make it a dessert and cocktail reception, which can be really fun and save money.

     

    (*there can be reasons for inviting people to the reception only but not the ceremony, like if your religion mandates a very small ceremony.  But even then you can’t invite people to only part of the reception, it’s the whole reception or nothing.)

    Post # 6
    Member
    1403 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2010

    Sorry, I have to disagree with greenleafmountain.  When my parents found out I intend to invite 200 people to dinner as well as dancing, they were shocked.  Having everyone for dinner is NOT the norm around here, and if you’re only invited to dancing, you don’t feel like a second class guest.  Some people don’t even serve dinner at all at their receptions!

    It’s true though that you should invite everyone to the ceremony unless you have any religious limitations on that.  A lot of people will only come to the reception anyway, but at least you invited them to both.

    Post # 7
    Member
    3564 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: August 2010

    I wouldn’t say tacky, but I would say rude. If they’re not important enough to be there for the whole reception, why would you want them there for the dancing part?

    Post # 8
    Member
    1426 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: December 1969

    @Jenbrandner- it’s not at all rude not to have a dinner at the reception.  I even made this suggestion to the OP if she was looking to save money.  What is rude is to have a handful of guests walk in to a dinner which has just been completed, and be made to feel that they are the b-list.  It would be a very public embarrassment for them in front of all the other guests.

    If a couple was doing something like having their ceremony, going out to private dinner with their parents, and then having a large dessert reception somewhere else for all the guests, that would be one thing.  The dessert reception would be “the reception” and the private dinner would just be something the couple did during the gap.  However, having a dinner at the reception and having a second set of guests showing up half way through is rude.

    Post # 9
    Member
    647 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2011

    I agree with greenleafmountain.  I wouldn’t go to a wedding where I was purposefully only invited to the cheap part of the reception.  And I certainly wouldn’t send a gift.  It’s really simple, if you aren’t close enough to the people to invite them to the whole thing, don’t invite them.  What if dinner runs longer than you intend it to (which is really possible) and these second-tier guests show up halfway through?  What are they supposed to do, stand around and watch people eat?  That’s creating an unnecessary embarassing and awkward situation.  Treat all your guests the same, and if you can only afford to accommodate a certain number, only invite that number.

    Post # 11
    Member
    1403 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2010

    Totally agree on making sure nobody is walking in while dinner is still in session.  But we shouldn’t make any assumptions on how the OP’s dinner arrangements will work.  Perhaps the dinner will be in a different room than the dance room.

    Is this really just a handful of people we’re talking about inviting for dessert only, or half of the guest list?  Because if it’s just a couple of people, then yeah just spring for their dinner too.

    If I were invited to a distant cousin’s wedding and reception, but didn’t receive a dinner card, I wouldn’t be offended.  After all, we’re distant cousins, so what would I expect!  I’d be glad to be invited and attend and bring my (slightly smaller) gift for the happy couple.

    Post # 12
    Member
    2866 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2010

    I think it’s especially odd since they’re cousins. So you’ll be inviting Aunts and Uncles and not their children? It might be different if it were co-workers where they wouldn’t necessarily be connected to people who would be invited to the entire thing (although still a bit off-putting to invite guests to only one part). Or it’d be okay if you were having a family only ceremony and dinner and then a reception at a later time to invite friends to.

    It would be better to just not invite ANY cousins if you can’t afford them.

    Post # 13
    Member
    1523 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2010

    I agree with greenleaf mountain. I would feel insulted if I walked into a reception at 10:30 at night only to realize that I had not been invited to the ceremony or the delicious 6 course meal that everyone loved eating. I don’t think it matters that you will have a lot of food available. I think it’s rude to not invite people to your ceremony or dinner. if I received an invitation like this I think I would understand what was going on ahead of time since I would be asked to come to the event at 10:30pm so I would not bother showing up.

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